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Perusall is a social annotation tool that allows students and their instructors to collaboratively markup digital textbooks or PDF documents. Instead of reading a document and discussing it, Perusall brings the discussion to the text.  

Primary Use: Collaborative annotation of digital text books or PDF documents.

Cost: No cost to instructor, department, or institution to implement. If being used with a textbook for a class, students purchase a license for the digital text directly through Perusall. Perusall can also be used with absolutely no charge to students if being used only to annotate instructor uploaded PDF's.

Course Site Integration: Perusall can easily be integrated into your course in Course Site simply by adding "Perusall" as a resource. Your IT Consultant can guide you through the process. Perusall will score your students annotations in each assignment automatically and pass grades to your Course Site gradebook.

Technical Requirements: None

Other Considerations:

  • Perusall scores each assignment based on quality, quantity, and distribution of student annotations, comments, and replies. All default settings for scoring are customizable by the instructor.
  • Perusall can group students in large classes into smaller groups for more streamlined collaborative activity and easier management.
  • Perusall can be used either directly with Course Site  or on its own. If using Course Site, students will not be required to "sign-up" for Perusall accounts - they will simply be enrolled upon clicking their initial assignment link.

Creating Reading Assignments in Perusall

  1. Click the desired book or file to highlight. 
  2. Click Assign and you’ll be able to set up assignments as well as their due dates.
    • Give the assignment a name and be sure to use that exact name when adding your assignment in Course Site.
  3.  You can also upload your own documents (such as PDF's) if you want students to complete other reading assignments through Perusall.

Instructions for adding a Perusall assignment to a course in Course Site

  1. Go to your course in Course Site
  2. Click the Turn Editing On button in the top right.
  3. Under your desired section/topic, click Add an activity or resource.
  4. Select Perusall from the list and click Add.
  5. Give the assignment a name (the assignment name should always match the assignment name given in Perusall.)
  6. Click "Show more..." and under "Launch Container", select New Window. The other options can all be set at your discretion. 
    • If you do NOT want grades to be passed from Perusall into your Course Site gradebook, be sure to uncheck the box for "Accept grades from the tool" under the Privacy section.
  7. Click Save and return to course.
  8. You must now click the link you just created in order to make the initial connection (or "provision") between your course and Perusall. You should be taken directly into your Perusall course. Be sure to go into Settings to verify your course details including course start date, instructor access, scoring options, and assignment options.
    • Provisioning creates a folder structure in Perusall that is associated with one specific course section. When setting up your course site, you must establish this initial connection once for every instance of your course.

Adding a Textbook in Perusall

  1. In your Perusall dashboard, click the Add button under your Documents column on the left.

  2. You can browse, search, or request a textbook by title.

  3. Once the textbook has been added to the course (you will receive notification when this has been done), you can begin assigning chapters.
  4. You also have the option of adding assignable text from local files, Dropbox, or from another Perusall course.

Copying Assignments from one Persuall Course to Another Persuall Course

Once your requested courses for the semester have been set up in course site, 

  1. Connect or "provision" multiple course site sections for Perusall by adding an initial Perusal assignment to each. 
  2. Set-up your assignments in your master course in Perusall.
  3. In Perusall, navigate to the course where you to copy these assignments.
  4. Go to Course Setup > Readings > Documents > Add > Materials from another course.

4. Select the appropriate master course.

PLEASE NOTE: You must now re-add the Perusall Assignment Links to your recipient course in order to establish direct links to each assignment and add them to your Course Site gradebook from Perusall.


  • Persuall links will need to be re-created for each of your courses initially and cannot be imported from a previous version of your course.
  • If you would like to give access to additional instructors, you can do so via Settings > Instructor Access in Perusall.
  • Students should be directed to ONLY access Perusall via Course Site - accounts are auto provisioned  for that course (using their Lehigh email address) the first time they click the Perusall link within a course.
  • Students may have only one Perusall account with the same email address.
  • Students will be prompted to purchase the textbook through Perusall when they first access a reading assignment in the platform.
  • Perusall will automatically grades your students annotations and post scores when all due dates have past.  Here is how scoring Works: 

Additional Resources:

Perusall Help Website:

Perusall Knowledge Base for Instructors:


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